The short answer is this:
Or more likely this:
For the rest of us – it's likely to be years of Mandarin lessons and lots of hard work.
OK This is going to be a long-ish post, to update you with all the goss over the past month. I have been very busy with various projects, travelling, attending all sorts of forums and events, and trying to keep up with everything else. It’s Christmas eve, and I finally get to do some blogging. I dread to think what it must be like in the shopping malls right now, so this is a welcome reprieve.
We had the annual Euroasia Christmas party late this year (11 Dec 09). We had a decent turnout of around 80 clients and friends of Euroasia, which is OK seeing we clashed with many other corporate parties. File note: next year we definitely have to do this the first week of Dec, perhaps even late-Nov. As you can see, those who managed to make it had a great time.
do any Christmas carols in Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Japanese like we did last year… but our team did organise some cool games. It was also a great opportunity for me to thank all our clients for their unwavering support to us over the past year. Dr John Reynolds spoke eloquently in 3 languages about his language learning experience at Euroasia.
A few months ago, I accepted an invitation to speak at the World Chinese Economic Forum in November and held in Kuala Lumpur (which happens to be my hometown). I’m really glad I went, as I managed to meet a number of very interesting people. At my session, I talked about how overseas Chinese can assist businesspeople from Western nations, including New Zealand, to access new markets in Asia generally and China specifically. I provided examples of enterprising Chinese businesspeople facilitating trade opportunities. In the past, New Zealand chicken producers had to spend money to dispose of chicken parts like chicken feet (that Westerners don’t eat, but Chinese love). Through the intervention of Chinese traders, NZ chicken producers have not only saved money from having to dispose of these chicken parts, but are now profiting from the sales of these parts. There are plenty of business opportunities in China that New Zealanders are missing out on because of the DIY mindset. A far superior approach is to collaborate with Asians who live in NZ and have an entrenched knowledge of the language and culture in the target market. I’m hoping to devote more time and energy to work on these Asia Bridge initiatives in 2010.
At the Forum, I managed to have a chat with the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng. When he found out that I lived in NZ, he said “you Kiwis qualified for the world cup”, referring to news that New Zealand qualified for the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa and demonstrating his knowledge of New Zealand. I had to break it to him that NZ also qualified for the Hockey World Cup, beating Malaysia the day before the forum.
Earlier this month, I attended the annual APEC Advisory Business Council (ABAC) dinner, where the PM briefs members of the business community on what happened at APEC. This year, there’s lots to say about the economy and the PM has just arrived back from the East Asia Summit, Malaysia-NZ FTA, CHOGM, and about to go to Copenhagen.
I have previously blogged about this but one funny anecdote worth sharing is from the Q%A where a guy asked a serious question “If we want to catch Australia why not just merge with them?” The PM’s response: I just got back from CHOGM where Australian PM Kevin Rudd asked me the same question. My response was I’m too busy running New Zealand to run Australia as well. This guy can be very funny. I do think John Key is more in touch with the masses than Helen Clark; and has a way with both CEOs as well as joe public. Perhaps this explains his 80% favourability rating throughout a very difficult year.
In the new year, you will see the launch of Euroasia’s new website and enrolment system, which we have spent the last 2 months working on. Some people have asked us why we want to spend money on this, especially seeing this is a particularly difficult time. My response is that in order to maintain Euroasia’s position as a leading provider of foreign language courses and cross-cultural services, we have to keep investing in the business, and to keep improving our service offering, especially when times are bad. Recessions don’t last forever, and I’m optimistic that 2010 will be a spectacular year for Euroasia. As it stands, our forward bookings for 2010 are already way ahead of this time last year.
Over the next two weeks, I will spend some time hopefully relaxing and reflecting on the past year. If you’re like me, and need some help with the reflection process, I’ve found this guide pretty helpful. Ask yourself 20 questions that cover all facets of life, not just material prosperity.
Last Christmas, we produced a video compilation of Euroasia staff bringing Christmas and New Year greetings in their native languages. I hope you don’t mind me recycling (seeing it’s in vogue now) this message. Once again we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
This is really funny. Catherine Tate plays an interpreter that had to stand in at the last minute because the professional didn't turn up. All of us hold prejudices and stereotypes, and this short video shows us some of the subconscious ones.
My apologies if you find this offensive. You know viagra online pharmacy
ttp://www.euroasia.co.nz/services/translation.php”>who to call to prevent
yourself from getting into a similar pickle.
The Prime Minister John Key gave this speech at the KEA World Class New Zealanders dinner two nights ago. I went along last year, but missed out on this year's. It's great what KEA is doing to celebrate the success of Kiwis. Well done Ivan. Check out PM's speech on youtube:
In this speech PM talks about ordering pizza on 0800 838383 for her daughter, and sitting next to Dan Carter and Joe Rockocoko on the plane, leaning over and asking for an autograph for h
Also recognising the contribution of ex-PM Helen Clark, being the first politician to head the UNDP.
Part Two on Kiwis travelling overseas, broadband, and other topics. He talked about his chat with the Korean PM
on ultra-fast broadband, and poking fun of politicans . In this speech, John is eloquent, passionate and funny. It's John Key at his best as he talks about what it means to be a New Zealander. Awesome stuff.
Unfortunate that I missed out being there.
Following my previous post on the importance of getting translations done right, I have included some photos to further illustrate my point. I was in Shanghai last year, and at a glance saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said “Christchurch” on the back. Perhaps an ex-international student, I thought.
Upon closer examination, I cracked up in laughter.
And then there was this police car I saw outside a McDonald's restaurant. For a moment there, I wasn't sure if they are for real, but I can assure you they are driven by real cops. My mum could have done a better job with the spray paint. Why can't they get something so basic checked? All they needed to do was to open up a word doc and see if there's a red unde
It's endless. I came across another sign at a restaurant (with English menus, not a roadside stall).
In verbatim, the text reads:
The police warned Please use the “Auti-Theft Hook” under the table. Take care of your belongings. Shanghai railway station rigilance police station.
My wife (fiancee at the time) asked what sort of system this
is. I was also wondering what kind of sophisticated anti-theft system they installed under the table. My curiosity paid off. I didn't have to look long to discover this most effective albeit primitive theft-prevention device.
OK in the same way that we laugh at the Chinese who make all these “stupid mistakes”, they do the same with Westerners with silly tattoos and t-shirts. The difference is that the Chinese are just simply too polite to tell you 🙂
The team at Euroasia has put together a short video message, wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You'll have to guess who's saying what. If you're playing this at the office, try not to laugh too hard ok. We don't want to get you in trouble.
p/s:If you can
9;t see the video here, check out the youtube clip at http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=tzGqluc0kNs – Don't miss the outtakes ok
Our office closes on 19 December, and will reopen on 5 January for the 2-week intensive programme (2 weeknights + Sat half day).
At the start of next year you have 3 intakes to choose from:
5 Jan and 19 Jan for Fasttrack programmes
2 Feb for the standard courses.